Hard Habits to Break
Overcome these obstacles to keeping your resolutions
ONCE THE HOLIDAY HULLABALOO subsides, it's time for
New Year's resolutions. But before you make any, consider these
obstacles, which cause one-third of resolution-makers to give up on
their goals before the end of January.
1. YOU AIM TOO HIGH. If you wake up every Jan. 1
and decide it's time to ditch all your unhealthy habits, you'll end
up disappointed. "Changing habits takes baby steps," says Toby
Smithson, R.D., an American Dietetic Association spokesperson.
Whether you want to save more money, get portions under control or
reduce stress in your life, pick one thing and work on it until it
becomes natural. Then move on to something else. If you need to
adjust your goal-for example, managing stress may be more realistic
than reducing it-that's fine, too.
2. YOU MAKE EXCUSES. Forming good habits is all
about making it easy. Can't quit smoking because your job is too
crazy? Too busy to squeeze in exercise and massage? Snacking on
chips instead of carrots because, well, they were there? It's time
to take responsibility and make a plan! "A big key to success is
planning ahead," Smithson says. Instead of making excuses, make a
commitment to yourself. Set a quit date that will work. Make
appointments for regular massage
therapy and exercise just as you would for important meetings.
And stock your kitchen with quick, healthy snacks such as fruit,
vegetables, reduced-fat popcorn and sugar-free gelatin with whipped
topping, Smithson says.
3. YOU GIVE UP TOO QUICKLY. Success won't happen
overnight and setbacks and slip-ups are likely. A study by
Franklin-Covey found that only 40 percent of people had success
with their resolutions on the first try. Set interim goals for
yourself, so that you will see progress. It could take three weeks
or three months to change your habit. The key is to keep
trying.-By Jenn Woolson